February 9th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Rate media coverage of Pres. Obama?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Americans are keeping a close eye on President Obama - just three weeks into his administration - but they're also focusing on the so-called "fourth" branch of government, the media.

Rate media coverage of Pres. Obama?

President Obama answers questions from the press on AIr Force One,

A new Gallup poll shows 38% of those surveyed don't think the press has been tough enough in its coverage of the new president. 11% say "too tough", while almost half - 48% - say "about right."

It's not surprising that Americans' views on media coverage of President Obama breaks down along party lines. Another recent poll showed most Democrats find it "about right", while most Republicans say it's "not tough enough." Independents are about evenly split.

When it comes to those who believe the media haven't been tough enough on President Obama, Gallup found an overwhelming majority of these people - 85 percent - are at least somewhat concerned that the news media won't be able to fulfill its duties of providing oversight of the administration.

You may recall this was a big deal during the Bush years - the public was quite critical of the media - saying they weren't tough enough in their questioning, particularly during the run-up to the Iraq war.

In just a few short weeks in office - President Obama has been all over the media - popping into the press room, doing sit-down interviews with network and cable news anchors, holding town hall meetings, and tonight his first prime-time news conference.

Here’s my question to you: How would you rate the media coverage of President Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


February 9th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Important to move quickly on stimulus?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The stimulus debate rages on, even though the Senate is expected to pass its $827 billion version tomorrow.

The president urged Congress to support the stimulus at a town hall meeting today.

President Obama hit the road today with town hall-style meetings to sell it. He will address the nation in a primetime press conference tonight. The President insists the stimulus package will help pull our economy out of its current tailspin.

But most Republicans continue to slam the plan for what they believe is excessive spending that won't fix our economic problems. Senator Richard Shelby of Albama says the package will put the U-S on "a road to financial disaster". The head of President Obama's National Economic Council - Lawrence Summers – says the Republicans have no credibility on this issue after the previous administration racked up trillions of dollars of debt over the past 8 years.

Bottom line is there's a real sense of urgency that this thing pass. The Senate is expected to vote tomorrow, but even now Congressional aides are at work reconciling the Senate version with the House's.

Meanwhile- the Republicans might want to tone down their whining. A new Gallup poll shows a majority of Americans– 58% - disapprove of the way the Republicans have handled themselves during the stimulus debate. That's compared to 42% who disapprove of Congressional Democrats and 25% who disapprove of President Obama.

Here’s my question to you: How important is it that Congress move quickly on the stimulus plan?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Stimulus Plan • US Congress
February 9th, 2009
01:01 PM ET

War in Afghanistan "much tougher than Iraq"?


A top diplomat recently said the war in Afghanistan will be a "long, difficult struggle." A US military raid recently destroyed 270 homes and displaced hundreds of families. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Just in case President Obama doesn't have enough worries at home with the economy, one of his top diplomats is now warning that the war in Afghanistan will be "much tougher than Iraq."

Richard Holbrooke - the special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan - insists that there's no "magic formula" and that it will be a "long, difficult struggle." Holbrooke knows a thing or two about dealing with conflict, he's got a long resume that includes negotiating an end to the war in Bosnia.

The president has made it clear that Afghanistan will be a top priority and his administration is deciding whether to send another 30,000 troops there, which would almost double the current troop strength.

Speaking at the same meeting as Holbrooke, General David Petraeus said there's been nothing easy about Afghanistan. He described the country's many needs - ranging from ground troops to intelligence, surveillance, special ops, you name it. There are high expectations that Petraeus can mirror the progress he made in Iraq.

The U.S. is also calling on the international community to step up its role in the war-torn nation.

Although Afghan President Hamid Karzai acknowledges security problems - he says they've had success in areas like roads and health care. Mr. Karzai insists his country is not a "narco state" or "failed state." It's probably worth noting that he's up for re-election this summer.

Meanwhile, a new poll of the Afghan people shows support for Mr. Karzai's government, the U.S. and NATO plummeting - so President Obama has his work cut out for him.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when one top diplomat says the war in Afghanistan will be "much tougher than Iraq"?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Afghanistan • Iraq